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Is America Defending Saudi Interests in Syria?

Written By Briton Ryle

Posted August 28, 2013

As usual, when it comes to the Middle East, nothing is ever simple.

The situation in Syria is a perfect example.

As he stepped to the podium on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry’s moral outrage at the chemical weapons attack on Syria’s civilian population was clear. He’s ready to drop bombs.

Of course, any military response won’t have United Nations backing. Russia will surely veto any measures before the Security Council. After all, Syria’s been a good customer.

But now that Obama’s “red line” in the sand has been crossed — on the one-year anniversary of drawing it, no less — some kind of response from the U.S. seems inevitable.

Reports say the bombs could start falling tomorrow.

The U.K. is on board, as Britain is convinced that Assad did it. Turkey’s ready to go, with or without any U.N. backing. France is in, too — so long as Uncle Sam takes the lead.

I don’t know what’s going to happen. Missile strikes seem inevitable.

After the illegitimate war in Iraq, the American people are tired of military action in the Middle East.

Yep, it’s never simple in the Middle East…

Goaded into Moral High Ground?

Over the weekend, former Secretary of State Colin Powell asked the all-important question: Who is the Syrian opposition?

Are they being radicalized by Al Qaeda?

The fact is we don’t know whose interests we may be serving if we strike Syria.

Or maybe we do…

I worry that the U.S. is being goaded into taking the moral high ground, and thereby doing someone else’s dirty work.

And that someone is Saudi Arabia.

According to the Telegraph, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the head of Saudi intelligence, met with Russia’s Putin three weeks ago.

It’s reported that he offered Putin cooperation in the oil markets — if Russia stopped backing Syria:

Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets…

Bandar reportedly also said:

I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.

A Lebanese news source, Al Monitor, gives more detail, quoting Bandar as saying:

The kingdom can provide large multi-billion-dollar investments in various fields in the Russian market. What’s important is to conclude political understandings on a number of issues, particularly Syria and Iran.

And finally, to seal the deal…

The Syrian regime is finished as far as we and the majority of the Syrian people are concerned. [The Syrian people] will not allow President Bashar al-Assad to remain at the helm. The key to the relations between our two countries starts by understanding our approach to the Syrian issue. So you have to stop giving [the Syrian regime] political support, especially at the UN Security Council, as well as military and economic support. And we guarantee you that Russia’s interests in Syria and on the Mediterranean coast will not be affected one bit.

In the future, Syria will be ruled by a moderate and democratic regime that will be directly sponsored by us and that will have an interest in understanding Russia’s interests and role in the region.

Now, I have no way of knowing if this conversation actually took place. It could be propaganda.

It could also be a pretty clear glimpse of how Saudi Arabia is flexing its oil-might to get what it wants.

And the possibility that the U.S is playing along fills me with unease.

It’s Always About Oil

We do not need Middle Eastern oil.

We do not need Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. has become far less dependent on foreign oil than we were just a few years ago. In fact, oil imports are down 50% in two years.

And since our alliance with Saudi Arabia is rooted in oil, we should end it.

Let Saudi Arabia be the region’s puppet master, so long as it’s not Uncle Sam attached to the strings.

We have the oil we need right here on U.S. oil — in Texas’ Permian Basin, California’s Monterey Shale, and North Dakota’s Bakken.

These oil fields can secure a better future for America. 

Until next time,

Until next time,

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Briton Ryle

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A 21-year veteran of the newsletter business, Briton Ryle is the editor of The Wealth Advisory income stock newsletter, with a focus on top-quality dividend growth stocks and REITs. Briton also manages the Real Income Trader advisory service, where his readers take regular cash payouts using a low-risk covered call option strategy. He is also the managing editor of the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Briton, click here.